“The strike at terrorist camps is a paradigm shift in India’s policy on Pak-sponsored Terrorism”
Air Marshal (Retd) PK Roy
The February 26, 2019 air strike is the first time that India has used its air force for a strike on terror camps inside Pakistan-occupied Indian territory and demolished the myth that use of air power would escalate the situation to dangerous levels between the two nuclear states. It also sets a precedent for future action by India. On the negative side, it would also create pressure on the Government to retaliate in a similar way after every terrorist incident.
The Government of India is terming the strike as a ‘non-military pre-emptive action’ is a smart move, as the use of air power is usually considered an act of war with its consequent repercussions. Even though, India has officially called it a ‘non-military’ strike, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned of a “suitable reply”. Knowing Pakistan’s history of misadventures, India needs to be alert and avoid the situation escalating to unacceptable limits. Their attempt to strike at Indian military installations on February 27 is a case in point.
India must simultaneously continue dealing diplomatically with the US, China, Russia, UK, France and various other countries to force Pakistan to abandon its support to terrorists, disband their infrastructure and act firmly against them. India must also impose economic sanctions such as removal of MNF status and IWT. It needs to adopt a continuous pressure to bear on Islamabad in every possible sphere. Politically, India is heading into elections - an ideal condition to engineer unrest in India. Pakistan with the support of radicals within India has mastered this art. We need to guard against it. Our intelligence agencies, the security establishment and the population, in general, need to be vigilant.